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Johnson Says He is “Skeptical” of the TPP, calls it “Laden” with Cronyism

One day ago, a new interview between Cenk Uyger of The Young Turks and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson appeared online in which the two sparred over some issues and agreed upon others in almost equal measure. However, one particular issue that Uyger might have expected Johnson to part ways with him on ended up being the issue in which Johnson was the most nuanced, honest, and pragmatic: The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It has been a persistent claim for awhile now from all of Johnson’s critics, including conservative libertarians and even TYT themselves, that Johnson is pro-TPP. Even if he were, of course, this doesn’t mean he is anti-free trade (after all, nobody actually knows fully what is in the TPP; only leaks), but upon being asked about it by Uyger in this interview, Johnson gave an unexpectedly candid answer:

“I have a sense that [the TPP] is laden with crony capitalism,” the former Governor of New Mexico explained. He further went on to clarify why his position might not have been as clearly relayed previously: “I have heard from people that I respect that it actually advances the ball, so I would keep an open mind, but the devil is in the details.”

Based on this clarification, it would seem that Johnson himself doesn’t have much love for the TPP, but isn’t completely ruling it out until he reads it for himself. Which is as reasonable a position as a libertarian politician can possibly take when discussing a document that, while shady, hasn’t been available to read for oneself yet.

Johnson further clarified on how he would approach the TPP if he were get is hands on it: “I would be a skeptic looking at that to begin with, because I think … those who have money are buying favoritism, and [the TPP] is for sale.”

Watch the full interview below.

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  • ivor
    September 25, 2016

    Thank you for pointing this out. I keep saying Johnson is likely to change his mind on the TPP. Now I have a reference!
    Also this site badly needs disquss.

  • Jeff
    September 29, 2016

    I find it weird that this article keeps saying the full text of the TPP isn’t available when I was able to find it through multiple different sources in under five seconds of Googling

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